Welcome to Volunteer Fairfax! Hundreds of service opportunities are available near your campus or home. Volunteering offers you the opportunity to explore career interests, gain skills, build your resume and most importantly, make a difference in the community. We are your resource to find the perfect volunteer match for yourself as an individual or for your campus organization.

Use VolunteerNow! to search for opportunities targeted to college students - just indicate "College Students" under the "Great For" section of the search. Not all volunteer opportunities are labeled "Great for College Students" so feel free to search for all types of opportunities. When "Expressing Interest" in an opportunity, please be sure to select your institution under "Group." This allows your institution to get credit for the volunteers that come through our site.

If you are a nonprofit organization interested in recruiting college students, please click here.

Volunteer Fairfax receives the following questions frequently regarding volunteering for college students:

Volunteer Fairfax General Information

  1. What is Volunteer Fairfax?
  2. How do I become a volunteer?
  3. What is VolunteerNow!?
  4. After I express interest in an opportunity, when will I hear from the organization?
  5. Are there any requirements to volunteer?
  6. How do I learn about the newest volunteer opportunities?
  7. What will I gain from volunteer work?
  8. What types of volunteer opportunities are available?
  9. I have been ordered by court to volunteer, what are the steps I need to take?
  10. What types of nonprofit organizations can I support?
  11. Are there evening and weekend opportunities?
  12. Can I volunteer only one time or do I have to consistently work with the same organization?
  13. How much time do I have to commit to volunteering?

Volunteering for School

  1. What are the differences between service learning, community service and volunteering?
  2. What qualifies as an internship?
  3. Can I get course credit for volunteering?
  4. Who do I contact regarding course credit for volunteer work?
  5. Where can I find out about internship opportunities?
  6. Can I put volunteering on my resume?
  7. How can my educational institution get recognized for my volunteer hours?
  8. How can I talk to a person about volunteering or if I have questions about the website?
  9. Can I volunteer as a group with friends, colleagues, or relatives?

Other Questions

  1. Do I have to pay to volunteer?
  2. Can I get reimbursed for travel expenses from volunteering?
  3. I don’t have a car; can you transport me to the volunteer opportunity?
  4. Will I need to have a background check conducted?
  5. What if I want to volunteer in another community (i.e. Arlington, Alexandria, etc.?)
  6. What if I have a bad experience volunteering?
  7. Are there volunteer opportunities that pay?
  8. What constitutes a public or nonprofit agency?

 

What is Volunteer Fairfax?
For 40 years, Volunteer Fairfax has been the heart of volunteering in Fairfax County. With a personal touch, the volunteer center matches the skills and interests of volunteers and donors to the needs of local nonprofit organizations, helping to build a better community through service. Through a variety of programs and services, Volunteer Fairfax strengthens the capacity of its nonprofit members and offers meaningful volunteer opportunities for local citizens. Through both personal one-to-one interaction and website referrals, Volunteer Fairfax connects the community to volunteer opportunities through traditional and emerging forms of communication.

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How do I become a volunteer?
Volunteer Fairfax offers numerous services and programs that make it easy and convenient for you to volunteer. VolunteerNow!, a searchable database of volunteer opportunities, allows volunteers to search up-to-date opportunities instantly. Additionally, Volunteer Fairfax holds large community-wide days of service like VolunteerFest and Give Together: A Family Volunteer Day that provide easy access to many volunteer opportunities.

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What is VolunteerNow!?
VolunteerNow! is Volunteer Fairfax’s premiere search engine for volunteer opportunities. Individuals and groups can search for opportunities based on mission, location, skills and much more! Once you find an opportunity, you can express interest through our website and the nonprofit will contact you regarding the position.

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After I express interest in an opportunity, when will I hear from the organization?
After expressing interest in a volunteer opportunity, nonprofit and government agencies are asked to respond to your inquiry within 2-4 business days. If they do not contact you, please send an email to volsrus@volunteerfairfax.org.

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Are there any requirements to volunteer?
Volunteer Fairfax serves as a referral agency making the connection between you and the nonprofit or government agencies. Each organization may have certain requirements depending on the type of position. The nonprofit or government agency will inform you of these requirements when they follow-up with you regarding the specific opportunity.

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How do I learn about the newest volunteer opportunities?
Volunteer Fairfax keeps its supporters informed through traditional and emerging forms of communication. You can sign up for the Individual Email List on our homepage to learn about Volunteer Fairfax updates and upcoming events. Additionally, you can add Volunteer Fairfax on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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What will I gain from volunteer work?
Volunteering offers many benefits to nonprofits but also to the individual volunteers. It can help you: build important skills professionally and personally, improve your health, meet new people, feel needed, enhance your resume, gain work experience, gain self confidence and much more. The benefits gained are as unique as the volunteer.

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What types of volunteer opportunities are available?
At any one time, Volunteer Fairfax offers between 200-300 opportunities through VolunteerNow!. The types of opportunities range from mentoring children to helping the environment to preparing food for the homeless population. With so many needs in the community and with such an array of nonprofits, we are certain that you will find the perfect fit. Volunteers are involved with just about every sector of the community and do just about any task you can imagine. When you are thinking about what you would like to do, try and match it with your interests, passions, skills or experience.

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I have been ordered by court to volunteer, what are the steps I need to take?
As part of Volunteer Fairfax's commitment to promoting volunteerism, the volunteer center administers the Alternative Community Service Program (ACS), which places a broad range of court-ordered clients in community service positions in lieu of a fine or jail term. Take the first step by finding out more about the program here.

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What types of nonprofit organizations can I support?
Volunteer Fairfax works with hundreds of nonprofit organizations with different missions. To see a complete listing of the nonprofits we work with, please view our nonprofit directory page.

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Are there evening and weekend opportunities?
Volunteer Fairfax offers a program specifically to adults with busy schedules. The Volunteers for Change program offers a monthly calendar with more than 50 different one-time projects in which to participate.

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Can I volunteer only one time or do I have to consistently work with the same organization?
Every volunteer opportunity is different. Some nonprofits expect that you work a certain schedule while others need your support only one time for a certain number of hours. You can specify the type of volunteer opportunity when searching through VolunteerNow!.

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How much time do I have to commit to volunteering?
It's entirely up to you! You can volunteer as much or as little as you like based on your time and interest.

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What are the differences between service learning, community service and volunteering?
Service learning differs from volunteering or community service in that usually the service activity is integrated with academic curriculum and content. Additionally, service learning requires participants to engage in reflection activities after their service experience and apply their learning in real-life activities. Community service is offered to individuals in lieu of a fine or jail term.

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What qualifies as an internship?
Internships are credit or non-credit experiences in community organizations. Hours can vary depending on requirements and the nonprofits capacity to have an intern. Internships may be pre-professional in nature or offer an experience related to other learning goals, such as exploring one’s role in civic engagement and social change. If students intend to earn academic credit for an internship, it is their responsibility to make the appropriate arrangement with their institution.

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Can I get course credit for volunteering?
Some institutions offer course credit for volunteering or require their students to complete a certain amount of hours per semester. Contact your student engagement or service learning department at your school for details.

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Who do I contact regarding course credit for volunteer work?
Contact your institution’s student engagement office, service learning department or your professor regarding course credit for volunteer work.

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Where can I find out about internship opportunities?
Talk to your institution’s career center to find local internship opportunities.

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Can I put volunteering on my resume?
Yes! Volunteer work allows you to acquire hands on experience and develop skills in the same way that paid positions do. Future employers want to see that you have developed skills and demonstrated them in a working environment. It is not important that you were paid for your work, only that you can do it.

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How can my education institution get recognized for my volunteer hours?
When "Expressing Interest" in an opportunity, please be sure to select your institution under "Group" on the final screen. This allows your institution to get credit for the volunteers that come through our site.

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How can I talk to a person about volunteering or if I have questions about the website?
Volunteer Fairfax prides itself on the customer service it provides to anyone wanting to volunteer. Although most of our services are online, there is always a real person in the office willing to help with your volunteer needs. You can talk to a real person by calling (703) 246-3460 or visiting our office at 10530 Page Avenue, Fairfax, VA 22030.

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Can I volunteer as a group with friends, colleagues, or relatives?
In addition to large community-wide days of service, you can volunteer as a group for many volunteer opportunities. When searching in VolunteerNow!, click “Great for: Groups” in the advanced search option. This will bring up all the opportunities that have a need for small and large groups.

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Do I have to pay to volunteer?
Just your time and skills! Volunteering is free through Volunteer Fairfax.

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Can I get reimbursed for travel expenses from volunteering?
Some volunteer organizations pay volunteers for out-of-pocket expenses such as the cost of travelling to and from the place where you volunteer, meals while volunteering or postage and telephone costs. It's important to discuss what can and can't be claimed back before you start any new volunteering role.

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I don’t have a car; can you transport me to the volunteer opportunity?
While we unfortunately do not have the capacity to transport volunteers to our agencies, some sites are accessible via public transportation.

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Will I need to have a background check conducted?
Volunteer Fairfax serves as a referral agency making the connection between you and the nonprofit or government agencies. Each organization may have certain requirements depending on the type of position. The nonprofit or government agency will inform you of these requirements when they follow-up with you regarding the specific opportunity.

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What if I want to volunteer in another community (i.e. Arlington, Alexandria, etc.?)
Although our name may be misleading, Volunteer Fairfax serves the Northern Virginia and Washington DC Metro Region. You can search for volunteer opportunities by location on VolunteerNow!.

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What if I have a bad experience volunteering?
Volunteer Fairfax wants you to have an amazing experience volunteering. For any reason you are unhappy about your volunteer experience, please contact a Volunteer Fairfax staff immediately as we will want to resolve the issue quickly.

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Are there volunteer opportunities that pay?
There are no volunteer opportunities that pay. However, some organizations may provide a small stipend to cover travel expenses or incurred costs.

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What constitutes a public or nonprofit agency?
A nonprofit organization is an organization that does not issue stock shares or distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders, but instead uses the funds to help achieve its goals. Examples of NPOs include charities (i.e., charitable organizations), trade unions, trade associations, some government agencies and public arts organizations.

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